- One in 30 school-age children in the U.S. is homeless, according to "America's Youngest Outcasts," a new study issued Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness.
- According to the report, the United States' high poverty rate, a lack of affordable housing, and the effects of domestic violence are to blame for the nation's surging child homeless rates.
- The issue is particularly troublesome in California, where a fifth of the nation's homeless children reside despite the fact that California accounts for an eighth of the total U.S. population.
The report found that, at some point in 2013, 2.5 million American children were homeless, an increase of 8% since 2012. To calculate the statistic, the National Center on Family Homelessness used the Department of Education's last official count of homeless students (which found 1.3 million homeless public school students) and tacked on an estimate for the number of homeless pre-school students, which the DoE does not track.
Carmela DeCandia, director of the center and a co-author of the report, shared with the Associated Press that the number of homeless veterans and chronically homeless adults has actually been on the decline thanks to initiatives by the federal government. "The same level of attention and resources has not been targeted to help families and children," DeCandia told the Associated Press. "As a society, we're going to pay a high price, in human and economic terms."
Homelessness is a major issue, especially with students. According to the 2014 report "Don't Call Them Dropouts" from Tufts University's Center for Promise, homeless students are 87% more likely to stop going to school.